We have had a great weekend in Billericay! We were able to spend the weekend at the church which I am based at for the year. During the weekend we had 5 events planned, starting on Friday night with a Girls Brigade and Boys Brigade event. We arrived at the Perry Street church at 12:45 and began setting up. Because it is Christmas it was a great excuse to cover the equipment in fairy lights and to put up a tree!
We had lots planned for the evening event; we performed some of our Taste songs and got the young people involved. We also had a Christmas quiz which myself and Josh ran where they had to guess the Christmas advert. An additional special feature was a visit from the Christmas angel who helped is with another Christmas Quiz. The message behind the event was that there is more to Christmas than what this world has made it into; it’s about Jesus! We had a great time with this bunch of young people!
As we were staying in Billericay for the weekend I was able to stay in my home with Roger and Sally. It also meant that the Grimes’ could see me in action with the band! On Saturday morning we were part of an event called Holiday bible club and we worked in partnership with Arise Ministries who are amazing colleagues of ours at Viz! Taste were involved with leading the worship for this event; doing some classic children’s favourites such as ‘Our God is a great big God’ and ‘Shine’. I was roped into leading the actions which took me back to CPCC when I helped in Kidz Church! There were various activities that happened throughout the morning with the children. We played games with them, there was a drama by Ed and Josh, and there was craft and a bible message. Oliver and Annie loved seeing me on the stage and they let a few people know that I was staying with them!!
We spent lunch time with a lovely group of people at the church. Arise joined us, and so did Den Pethers who also works with us at Viz, and we were cooked a delicious casserole. It felt great to have the team all together.
Our third event of the weekend was linked to the Reconnect events which have been taking place at BBC for a while now. These events are aimed at particularly women who have taken themselves away from church for whatever reason. It was publicised that they could bring their families along; it meant that the age range was vast on Saturday night!!! We had a slightly different event planned to the others that had happened previously. Led by Den, we used it as an outreach opportunity and connected it to the Christmas theme. Taste had practiced some Christmas carols and we performed them all with a slightly different Tasty twist. We took the opportunity to share some testimonies and Reece was very open about some of the stuff he has struggled with but told us how different it is having God in his life. There were also some testimonies on DVD which showed a few different stories. To finish Josh and I had planned to perform a duet of ‘O Holy Night’ which went down brilliantly!!! I haven’t done a duet before but it was received really well by the audience and it meant a lot to hear lots of compliments afterwards!
Sunday was our final day at the church and we had our final two events left; both the morning and the evening services. In the morning it was a joint service with the congregation from South Green joining us. It meant the room was full and people were spilling onto the balcony and out into the hall!! The atmosphere was great and when Den started the service and explained that we would be looking at the theme of ‘Celebrate’, we got everyone cheering, clapping and even some people ( cough cough Roger and Sally!!!) standing on their chairs and pumping their arms in the air!!! We kick started the service with the song ‘Celebrate’ and then went into our rendition of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’. We then took the time to lead a game where we got two families up and asked the males and the females to guess the prices of the items out of the Argos catalogue and to see who would guess the closest!! The boys won, much to Roger and Oliver’s delight!
The rest of the service was looking at how we Celebrate and whether we know the real reason why we Celebrate at Christmas time. I was asked if I would share my testimony about the past year and Den interviewed me, I explained the situation and there was a chance for the congregation to pray for me after. It meant that the church I am now spending the rest of the year with are involved and know my situation and it seemed they were very thankful that I had chosen to share so honesty with them even though the situation is still very current and raw.
During the afternoon we were invited to spend a few hours with Paul and Ann Hancock with their son James. We had a delicious roast and taught them our favourite game Ligretto! And guess who won… !! After our great morning with the church we were looking forward to what was going to happen in the evening service! And due to a popular request, me and josh were asked to perform our duet again!
We also had another surprise that evening… It seemed that the old Tastiest were going to pay us a visit! Both Neemz and Summaya came to surprise us, and Jake had been helping us all weekend as he is doing an internship with Billericay Baptist. It was great for them to see the new team in action and for us to get to see them all! The evening service was another powerful event; more carols, quizzes and a testimony from josh this time about why he loves Jesus. Den led the service again and we led the musical side! It was great working with Den for the first time this weekend and I am looking forward to being able to do it again next weekend!!
I am so thankful for how god has used me this weekend. I am also really excited about getting to know the congregation more at BBC and it was so good to spend more time with the youth of the church. I have offered to help the youth band with their practices and I am getting more involved which is what I need!! Thank you for your prayers; I am so happy to be doing what I am doing and to have these amazing opportunities to share with hundreds of people about my life and how God has made a difference!! Please pray for those young and old who came to events but don’t yet know God and that they will feel his presence more than ever before